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ROGERS -- The School Board on Tuesday extended Superintendent Marlin Berry's contract by a year and rewarded him financially for his performance.

Berry, now in his second year as the School District's superintendent, is making $233,854 this school year, according to district documents.

Marlin Berry

Marlin Berry began as the Rogers School District’s superintendent on July 1, 2016. He previously served as a superintendent in three Kansas school districts for a combined 22 years, most recently the Olathe School District outside Kansas City. In his first year as Rogers superintendent, he helped achieve a 3.5-mill tax increase for the district in an election last spring.

Source: Staff report

The board, in addition to extending Berry's contract through June 30, 2021, voted to give him a one-time bonus of 2.2 percent -- equal to about $5,145 -- and an additional $2,000 merit bonus for this year, according to Ashley Siwiec, district communications director.

Berry didn't receive a bonus that was paid to all other employees earlier this school year. Teachers and administrators received a bonus of $1,000 while classified staff members -- such as bus drivers, social workers and clerical workers -- received a percentage of $1,000 in proportion to how much they make compared to a first-year teacher, or $44,750.

The board also agreed to raise Berry's "salary index" from 115 percent to 117.5 percent effective July 1, part of a formula determining administrators' salaries. Exactly how much that would raise Berry's salary wasn't available from the district late Tuesday.

The board met in executive session for about two hours after the regular portion of Tuesday's meeting to evaluate Berry's performance, according to Siwiec.

Kristen Cobbs, the board's president, couldn't be reached for comment after the meeting.

In other business Tuesday, the board set the district's calendars for the next two school years.

Mandy Oyler, a Jones Elementary School teacher, presented calendars the certified and classified personnel policy committees had devised. The board unanimously approved them.

State law sets the earliest date a school district may begin the school year as the Monday of the week that contains Aug. 19. That would make Aug. 20 the earliest first day this year.

The state Board of Education, however, granted Rogers and many other districts a waiver of that law, allowing them to start up to a week earlier.

Rogers chose to start the school year Aug. 15, a Wednesday. The district also began this school year on a Wednesday.

It's only five days before what the state otherwise would have mandated, "But those five days are significant in the sense that it allows us to have a schedule that's similar to the current year schedule, which has really been pretty well received," said Roger Hill, assistant superintendent for human resources.

Much of the feedback has been the three-day week to begin the school year was good for kids, Hill said.

By getting the waiver, district employees were able to keep some of the features they like about this year, including a full week off at Thanksgiving and an end to the first semester before winter break, Oyler said.

The calendars for the next two years are very much the same. There will be 85 days in the first semester and 93 in the second semester in both years. Both years also feature two full weeks off for winter break.

This year the district has the last Friday of April as a vacation day, but that won't be part of the next two years. Some secondary school teachers said they'd like to get as many days as possible in before graduation, Oyler said.

Rogers typically approves the following year's calendar at this time of year, but the decision was made to do two years at once to allow the district to book speakers for professional development purposes a year in advance, Oyler said.

It's also helpful to families wanting to plan vacations well in advance, Berry said.

"It's very helpful to our community," he said.

NW News on 01/17/2018

Print Headline: Rogers School Board grants superintendent bonuses

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